Friends and Neighbors,
The 2022 Legislative session has started out strong and as we finish another productive week, I would like to take the time to share some of the incredible strides we have made, as well as some of the people powered changes that are on the roster.
The 2021 session saw landmark legislation across the board in Pandemic Relief, Police Accountability, Housing, Gun Safety Laws, Childcare, Climate Change, Tax Reform, Cybersecurity, and Fair Pay. This session we’re back and more dedicated than ever to help pave the way to safer, more equitable communities with keystone policy that prioritizes working families and protects our children.
I’d like to hear what’s important to you. Please join me and the rest of the 48th legislative district delegation on February 3rd, 6-7pm via telephone to learn more about what we’re doing. It’s free and we are taking all the questions we can get to. To ensure your questions are answered, you can submit them ahead of time by clicking here.
To join, dial 877-229-8493 PIN #: 116362
With your help, here’s what I’m championing for our District this Legislative Session:
We continue to deal with the dual crises of lack of affordable housing, and homelessness. If people can’t afford rent, they cannot afford a mortgage. We need to leverage existing roads, sewer lines, water mains, and buildings, to create more affordable housing and help people get off the streets. This will take cooperation by all levels of government and partnering with nonprofits and the private sector to incentivize development.
We’re looking at several pieces of legislation that each solve a different piece of the puzzle. SB 5662 coordinates interagency efforts to ensure all hands are on deck when we help to transition people from living off of right of ways and into more permanent living solutions. SB 5755 creates a tax incentive for cities and developers to build more affordable housing on unused vacant land in the city.
And importantly, SB 5670 will make way for new and diverse types of housing near transit areas by allowing for other types of homes like duplexes and triplexes.
The research is clear that foster care and homelessness are strongly linked. Research shows more than one in five foster care youth experienced homelessness for at least one night within their first year out of the foster care system. Nationally, one in four foster youths will become homeless within 4 years of aging out of the foster care system. In Washington, that figures rises to one out of three foster youth becoming homeless within a year of aging out of the system. SB 5566 will extend the age of eligibility for our foster youth to receive housing assistance to help cutoff this pipeline into homelessness.
America has a gun violence problem. More than 38,000 people die of gun violence in this country every year. Last year we passed my bill to ban open carry at the Capitol campus and permitted protests. Now we’re hoping to give cities and counties that same option with SB 5568 that I am sponsoring. We’ve seen in the past year, people showing up at council meetings, school board meetings and public health meetings with guns. There is never a reason to bring your AR-15 to a school board meeting unless the intent is to intimidate.
We also banned bump stocks and “ghost guns”, allowed for the temporary removal of firearms from those who are at extreme risk of hurting themselves or others, and revoked concealed pistol licenses from those with stalking or sexual assault protection orders.
Last year I told you I would be back with my bill to ban assault weapons and it was heard in Law and Justice last week. These weapons of war have no place in our communities, especially since they are clearly the favorite choice for mass shooters.
This is our moment to write a visionary, equitable, climate-focused transportation package that invests in shared priorities while respecting our real and unique local needs. SB 5705 includes a meaningful investment in our overall transportation package. There is no shortage of need when it comes to investing in our communities and creating an accessible and sustainable transportation future for residents across Washington. This bill helps ensure we finish our projects along the WA-167 and I-405 corridor improving the flow and safety of traffic for working families, and bolsters our rapid bus transit option to give drivers an alternative method of daily commute.
SB 5130, concerning personnel files, would help us tackle a true workers’ rights issue at its heart. Coming directly from the story of one of my constituents, whose personnel file was altered by her employer during a wrongful termination lawsuit, SB 5130 is a foothold to adequate and fair protection.
This has been a pervasive issue but with a heightened demand in Tech—there is a heightened strain on tech employees. The unfortunate reality is we still need so many of these types of worker protections. Especially in the tech industry. While large corporations can quickly become a household name in these conversations surrounding tech workers’ rights, but the bigger picture shows us that this issue must be tackled systemically.
Into Another Virtual Session.
Though we may not be physically in the same space, we are still working. we have new opportunities to connect.
We’re seeing more testimonies and more diverse voices than ever before. While we recognize and work to address the digital divide across the state, removing the physical barrier of needing to be present in Olympia to gain access to the legislative process has allowed a more open and robust dialogue.
If you’d like to participate in this mostly remote session, here are some helpful links:
- Universal remote testimony: The Legislature has expanded remote testimony capabilities so people can sign up to testify on any bill from anywhere up to an hour prior to a committee meeting.
- To testify remotely in the Senate: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/Senate.
- To testify remotely in the House: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/House
- Submit written testimony: People can also submit written testimony on any bill scheduled for a public hearing. People have long been able to submit written comment on a bill, but prior to this year, those comments were sent directly to the constituent’s own legislators. The new written testimony system allows committee members and staff to read it more easily and maintains it as part of the permanent public record.
- Written testimony can be submitted at the same links used to sign-in for public testimony above.
- Set up a Zoom with your legislator: Due to Covid-19 protocols, legislators won’t be meeting in person with constituents, but people are encouraged to schedule Zoom meetings with their senators and representatives.
- To find your legislator’s contact information and schedule a meeting: https://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/
- It’s all on TVW: As always, every committee meeting, floor session, press conference and special event will be broadcast at TVW.org
As always, you can find more information on what I’m working on at sdc.wa.gov/Kuderer. And you can reach me with your questions, comments, and concerns at email@example.com. I will be meeting with constituents and stakeholders via Zoom this session, so please reach out if you’d like to meet.
48th Legislative District